4.2.6 Media pluralism and content diversity
One of the overall aims of measures taken by the Swedish government within the field of culture and media is to safeguard freedom of expression, accessibility and diversity of content.
The mandates of public service broadcasting companies includes direct responsibility for culture, e.g. broadcasting of programmes which cover and debate cultural subjects and events, including religious issues. The relationship between the state and the public service companies are regulated by an official agreement as well as in law. Newspapers are supported by government grants depending their size and regional context. The growing number of commercial channels in Sweden, and the possibility to access channels from around the world via satellite, pay TV and the Internet, provide a wealth of attitudes, images, and icons which is difficult for a public service policy to monitor. It is a common argument in favour of government grants and public service broadcasting that the pluralism of the sector could otherwise be imperilled, considering that ownership of commercial media based in Sweden over the last few decades has been increasingly concentrated in the hands of a limited number of owners.
The Swedish Film Institute (SFI) is the central authority responsible for the film sector. The Institute now also includes regional film centres. These bodies help to encourage a new generation of actors, scriptwriters, and film producers. Swedish films are becoming more and more appreciated by the great public and are receiving prizes at both national and international festivals. In this regard, the production of short films is going through a revival. Major short film festivals are held each year. Smaller festivals, focussing on special countries or subcultures, are frequently organised.
In addition to the traditional media, new forms of information and communication media have become increasingly important (see chapter 4.2.11). New technology and forms of communication create new possibilities for increased public access to the work of artists and cultural institutions. A large number of projects are underway, for example, the digitisation of archives and museums and support to IT based art projects from different foundations and institutions. The commercial market of edutainment and electronic gaming is expanding rapidly.